I knew I needed one. It was everywhere I turned. Videos I watched…”You need a coach or a mentor. Groups I joined, the top notch entrepreneurs…. “You need a coach or a mentor.” Everyone was saying it, so I knew there was value to it. My barrier was I couldn’t afford to pay someone to be my mentor. And there were people I was studying that I knew would make a difference in my life, but money is funny sometimes in our lives. That’s the real life that we aren’t always able to admit or talk about. I have a blog post coming soon discussing “The Issue of Money” and the truth is we are not always good with money and we make bad choices. And sometimes the season we are in with our lives is teaching us better habits and we are learning lessons, but at the same time we are walking in our purpose which is requiring some investment, but investment isn’t always $1000. And I wasn’t going into no more debt just to build, that wasn’t of Jesus, at least in that moment. LOL!
So when we were first starting out I signed my sis Hiranda and I up for a Score seminar. I am Robert Watkins’ daughter and if I am going to jump into something, I need to know the details of what I’m getting into so I am in full education mode. Whatever information I can get, I’m down for it and MAN the information was awesome. Of course in the first three months of startup phase Hiranda and I got excited about pretty much everything, which is another blog post because LORD did we learn that you can’t get caught up in the hype of EVERY DOGGONE THING! LMBO (We are silly!) But this was something that was really good. So anyways after it was done I went home and did more research, but I also kind of set that aside for a little while.
Later in the year, I was doing more research I had established my business entity (LLC) and started promoting it. I was also educating myself, going to events, watching videos and signing up for online classes and it opened my eyes and guided me to develop more of a mind for business. I realized there were some things I needed to revamp, my target market, my approach to my target market, how I exhibited myself to my potential customers the need to focus on my financial practices and so much other important information.
So then it crossed my mind as I was cleaning out emails that I had the option to obtain a free mentor with SCORE.
Now let me be really really clear: I think paying for a coach and/or mentor is a smart move! I want to make sure that is made known! I will do this one day, that is guaranteed! I can’t stay at this level forever! If I were to stay at this startup phase, I would be foolish, but this is where I am financially with both my business and personal life and I am willing to be transparent about that. There is just no way I will waste someone else’s time or take someone else’s spot when I know paying someone for a service right now will put me and my family in a financial bind. I can respect this in regards to my clients as well and I have been put in check regarding this, so TRUST ME, there is NO disrespect! I am simply sharing my experience and what was best for me and my business!
So anyways, I contacted SCORE. They had me fill out some information so they could match me to a mentor according to my needs as a business owner. In comes Mrs. Ann! 🙂 She is so great! Mrs. Ann is such an intent listener. She listens, observes, takes notes and then offers me sound advice. And she doesn’t just TELL me what to do, she helps me think about what are my best options according to her suggestions and my own deductions. She allows me to decipher what is best for me in certain situations and I am so grateful!
And then, guess what? At this point in my business I want to get better in tracking finances and managing them so I can eventually hire a coach or mentor and other pertinent people for my business, so when I asked her about it, she brought in another mentor that had more financial experience! Isn’t that cool?! She also told me I could send her my business plan and she would look over it for me! So awesome! And the services she provides are based on my needs!
Okay so the three benefits are:
- Matching according to your business needs: They find you a mentor that caters to your core area in regards to your business and who know where you are coming from. It also doesn’t necessarily have to be someone in your community. I have very much appreciated that Mrs. Ann is in another state because she has a different perspective, which is beneficial to someone who wants to expand outside of Alabama.
- An ear to bounce thoughts and ideas. I take notes when I think of things to ask Mrs. Ann all the time. She is prompt and honest. She admits when she doesn’t know and offers resources and suggestions. She has been strong arming me on my prices since we started this mentorship relationship and she praised me when I took her advice and she is helping me to change my mindset in regards to who I am marketing to and considering the value of my service
- Focus. Starting a business will have you all over the place. I am sometimes an information hog; so in getting started, I have been trying to get as much information I can possibly get, which isn’t a bad thing, its just sometimes overwhelming. Having a mentor helped me to pinpoint some specific tasks to work on, to work down my goals and make them more reasonable, to make my plan solid. This is one of the most valuable tools.
So now we come to it, the most valuable question… “Should I pay for a mentor or get a free one?” This is MY reality. My free mentor works for me in THIS season. I plan to support and sow into someone else’s business in the future because I know there is someone else out there I can benefit from and they can benefit from me too. For me, this is a season of growth. I can’t afford to sow, but I am still working towards my business goals, I still have guidance and I’m still in business. YOU have to make choices for your own business. Everyone is not going to get to their expected end the same way, that would be boring! All I can do is tell you what I did. Do your own research, maybe this won’t work for you! Maybe you need something more in depth, maybe you prefer face to face, maybe you gain more value in paying for services, maybe this is valuable to you! It doesn’t matter! DO SOMETHING! Now go be great!
If you want to take advantage of this great resource go to https://www.score.org/find-mentor Here they give you three great options to let them match you with a mentor, search for one yourself or to find your local SCORE office and utilize their services there! Hope this helps!
Until Next time #Connect #Create #Inspire #Deuces